December 7: Transforming landscapes

Isaiah 11:3-4

3 He shall not judge by what his eyes see,

   or decide by what his ears hear;

4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,

   and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;

The vision presented in the prophecies of Isaiah is for a transformed landsscape, a world in which the coming one will see and declare the truth clearly and will decide in the favour of the poor and the meek.  These words are difficult for us to hear and being able to see clearly what is occurring in the world around us is a constant challenge.

As I was thinking about this I was reminded of James Balog’s work photographing the retreat of the glaciers as a way of visually showing the impact of climate change.  Watching the changing landscape is both terrifying and beautiful. Of course what we do not see is the effort which lies behind the setting of the lens.  The movie “Chasing Ice” takes us into  the journey he undertook to help us to see but here in this TED talk we get to see a glimpse of what is contained in the longer documentary.

The words of the prophet speak to us of truth being revealed and God’s servant judging for the poor and the meek.  We already know that many people are already being impacted by climate change and the reality is so often it is the poor and meek who are effected most significantly.  As we look to the coming of Jesus and live as people of that coming kingdom what might it mean for us to take seriously God’s concern for the poor and the meek when it comes to issues like climate change?

James Balog